Climate Solutions: Soil Regeneration and Carbon Sequestration

Climate Solutions: Soil Regeneration and Carbon Sequestration (stockpile)

I’m going through my resources, and as I sort, I thought I’d share. This group of links is about carbon sequestration solutions.

A friend of mine likes me to stay in the loop, so he sends me a lot of fresh info. He recently sent me this article about cattle and climate change. I’ve been very interested in what is often called holistic farming to regenerate soil and sequester carbon. Ruminants can play a vital role in this. This has some solid science behind it.

A conversation with rangeland ecologist Richard Teague, PhD, analyzing the role that adaptive multi-paddock cattle grazing plays in sequestering carbon.

They put it into permanent pasture and managed it using regenerative multi-paddock grazing with dairy cattle. Within three or four years they recorded substantial improvements. After five years they had enormous increases in soil carbon—up to eight tons of carbon per hectare per year. In areas where you can grow crops throughout the year, like in the southern half of the States, if you make sure there’s vegetative cover of the soil, a living root in the ground year-round and you practice regenerative grazing using multiple paddocks with adequate recovery, you will get extraordinarily rapid results. In our more arid areas in Texas, we find we need about 10 years to get substantive soil functional improvement. When we went up to Canada, we worked with people who had started 20 or 30 years ago, and they had moved ahead remarkably. Over those long time periods, the soil had been measured every second or third year, and in the best cases, within four or five years, there was a noticeable increase in soil carbon and surface water infiltration. In those northern areas, after 14 years now, there is still no decrease in the upward trajectory of the soil carbon.

 

Climate Solutions: Soil Regeneration and Carbon Sequestration

…They put it into permanent pasture and managed it using regenerative multi-paddock grazing with dairy cattle. Within three or four years they recorded substantial improvements. After five years they had enormous increases in soil carbon—up to eight tons of carbon per hectare per year. In areas where you can grow crops throughout the year, like in the southern half of the States, if you make sure there’s vegetative cover of the soil, a living root in the ground year-round and you practice regenerative grazing using multiple paddocks with adequate recovery, you will get extraordinarily rapid results. In our more arid areas in Texas, we find we need about 10 years to get substantive soil functional improvement. When we went up to Canada, we worked with people who had started 20 or 30 years ago, and they had moved ahead remarkably. Over those long time periods, the soil had been measured every second or third year, and in the best cases, within four or five years, there was a noticeable increase in soil carbon and surface water infiltration. In those northern areas, after 14 years now, there is still no decrease in the upward trajectory of the soil carbon.

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That’s a pertinent question. The people who practice regenerative grazing get rid of all the bad things and graze for a short period of time, allowing adequate plant recovery, which improves rooting depth, the fungal to bacterial ratio, soil texture and infiltration. As soil carbon increases in these systems, the fertility of the soil, the cation exchange capacity, increases because organic matter hangs on to so many more nutrients. Regenerative AMP grazing quickly improves soil biology and plant diversity, and the more productive, healthier plants naturally come back.

There is much more at the link with links to all the scientific data and discussion of the facts and myths of cows and methane.

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Prairie grass restoration is another solution I’ve been tracking. Probably because I spent a few years living in a prairie state.

Scientists say the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by mid-century to avert catastrophic effects from global warming. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas; the amount in the atmosphere has been rising as humans burn fossil fuels. Not only must the world stop releasing more carbon, some CO2 already in the air also must be removed, experts say.

That’s where the prairie comes in.

As part of photosynthesis, plants pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their stems, leaves and roots. Unlike trees, grasslands store most of their carbon underground, in their roots and the soil.

And that makes them more reliable “carbon sinks” than forests, according to a 2018 University of California at Davis study. Because carbon is stored in the soil, it is not released back into the atmosphere when grasslands burn, as it is when trees go up in flames.

Much more at the link.

And finally, this has been my obsession since I learned of it years ago: Bringing back the Woolly Mammoth to save the permafrost:

 

Next week I’ll put together some links to resources that I think are focused on climate solutions. I think we are all well past, what is the climate crisis and what’s caused it, amirite?

One thought on “Climate Solutions: Soil Regeneration and Carbon Sequestration

  1. Pingback: Farming To Save The Planet | What's 4 Dinner Solutions

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